A Summit County judge has upheld a jury's verdict, sentencing craigslist killer Richard Beasley to death.
AKRON, Ohio - A Summit County jury deliberated for four hours Monday evening without reaching a verdict in the murder trial of Richard Beasley. The jury will resume talking about the case Tuesday at 9 a.m. In the meantime, they are sequestered in a hotel.
During closing arguments in the so-called craigslist killings trial, a prosecutor called Beasley a "master manipulator."
Summit County Assistant Prosecutor Jon Baumoel said, "there can be no reasonable doubt" that Beasley is guilty of each and every count. "This is Richard Beasley's show. He is the mastermind behind this plot," he added.
Baumoel said the victims were easy targets.
"They were desperate for a better life. They wanted hope. They wanted a second chance," he said.
Defense attorney James Burdon argued that violent motorcycle gangs, which had connections to Beasley, could be responsible for the heinous crimes.
Burdon said the prosecution failed to prove that Beasley was the killer.
"It's easy just to say it, but what we're talking about in this courtroom is what evidence is there to prove it," Burdon said.
The jury must reach verdicts on 26 counts, including multiple charges of aggravated
Beasley is accused of luring men through a bogus craigslist ad that promised a job as a caretaker on a 688-acre farm in Noble County.
Three men, David Pauley, Ralph Geiger and Timothy Kern were shot, killed and buried. The bodies of Pauley and Geiger were discovered in a wooded area in Caldwell, Ohio. Kern's body was found in a shallow grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron.
A fourth man, Scott Davis, was shot in the arm in Noble County. He ran into the woods and hid for several hours before walking to a home for help.
Baumoel argued to the jury that the killings would have continued if Davis hadn't escaped.
"Richard Beasley wasn't going to stop. He had a thirst for blood. He had a thirst for death," Baumoel said.
During the trial, Davis identified Beasley as the gunman. When Beasley took the stand in his own defense last Wednesday, he claimed that Davis shot at him.
"There were only two people in the woods when this incident occurred. Why is he (Davis) anymore credible than Richard Beasley?" Burdon asked in an effort to bolster Beasley's version of events.
If Beasley is convicted of aggravated murder, the jury of eight men and four women would return
for phase two of the trial- the mitigation hearing- which could last several days. Prosecutors are seeking
the death penalty against Beasley.
A co-defendant, 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty, was convicted on multiple counts last October and is serving a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A triple killer who lured victims with bogus job offers on Craigslist faced a possible death sentence before an Ohio judge deciding his punishment.
A Summit County judge has rescheduled craigslist killer Richard Beasley sentencing.
A judge in Ohio must make a life-or-death decision in sentencing a self-styled street preacher for the murders of three down-and-out men lured by Craigslist job offers. You can watch a live stream on newsnet5.com or app.
Jurors have recommended that Richard Beasley, the man convicted of murdering men by luring them with a phony craigslist job ad, die for the crimes.
Life or death? Jurors will reveal at 6 p.m. whether craigslist killer Richard Beasley will live or die.
Jurors are now deliberating the fate of craigslist killer Richard Beasley, deciding whether he will live or die.
The sentencing phase begins on Wednesday for the Akron man convicted of killing three after luring them with fake craigslist job postings.
The mother of convicted murderer Richard Beasley thought he would be found innocent in the craigslist murder case.
A self-styled street preacher accused in a deadly plot to lure men with phony craigslist job offers and then rob them was found guilty of aggravated murder and could face the death penalty.